The life of a sentient being is a long dream.
Existence only appears to be real. When one finally
awakens, or attains Buddhahood, existence is seen
for what it is--a sequence of illusions. Until
that time, people will remain obsessed by the body,
mind, and external phenomena, not realizing that
they are illusory. You will live in a dream,
thinking that it is reality. . . .
Sentient beings mistakenly view their moment-to-moment
illusory existence as a continuous, connected lifetime.
Because they are unaware that their life is unreal,
they do not attempt to wake up.
U Ch'an Master Sheng-yen, Complete Enlightenment